Today I did something I've always wanted to try, I don't care if the ARE geeky-looking! I road a Segway all around the KL Lake Gardens area. This was lots of fun in more than one way. First of all I got to ride a Segway, which was a blast. Second of all I got to see a lot of the Lake Gardens in a short amount of time. The Lake Gardens are a series of beautiful gardens and parks in the center of KL. It's very big, and since it's always hot and humid here, riding a Segway was a great way to see a lot of the gardens without dying of the heat.
Balan drove me to the National Museum this morning. Neither Balan nor Kumar knew what I meant when I said I was going to go ride a Segway. I had to show him a picture at the end so that he knew what I was talking about. The tour was supposed to start at 11 am, but you never know what traffic is going to be like here, so I had him pick me up at 10, and I got there in plenty of time.
Once I found the tourist information kiosk it was time for me to learn how to ride a Segway. Stand on the platform, lean forward a little to go forward, lean backward to stop. Turn the handle slightly one way or the other to turn left or right. Relax! At first I was very anxious and nervous, but gradually I started to catch on. It's really an amazing device. Its powered by a little electric motor, and a gyroscope keeps in it balance. We practiced going up and downhill (lean forward more to go up, lean back a little to slow yourself going down) and then it was time to take off.
I was on a tour by myself with two guides. One did this full time. His English had a strong Malay accent, so even though he was quite fluent I had trouble understanding him. The other guide was great. His name was Roger. He was a young engineering student and he made sure I was comfortable and confident in my maneuvering ability before we started the tour.
First we went to see a huge rubber tree at the entrance to the botanic gardens.
From there we drove by the lake, and saw several different types of bonzai trees.
We visited the hibiscus garden ...
...and the orchid garden.
Finally we visited a little exhibit of mouse deers, the smallest deer in the world. And I thought the deer in Texas were small!
By the end of the tour I was zipping along confidently, even looping in and out of a series of warning cones! I could go downhill fearlessly, and turn corners without thinking about it too much.
Riding a Segway was really fun and I would definitely do it again. Unfortunately they are way too expensive to fantasize about owning my own. It wouldn't be very practical in New Hampshire anyway.